Thursday, February 02, 2006


Are you familiar with Airborne?

Airborne is a dietary supplement and health formula which is said to help ward off harmful bacteria and germs, and help prevent the flu and the common cold. The formula contains herbal extracts, amino acids, antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and other nutrients, and can be purchased in many U.S. retail stores over-the-counter.

It has been ranked the #1 cold and flu remedy at, and is considered one of the fastest selling health products in retail history.

Intrigued?? At this point I'm sure you are wondering what team of scientists came up with this proprietary formulation? How many hours were spent perfecting this "natural formula containing 17 herbs and nutrients"? And of course, what type of carefully controlled clinical testing was undertaken to establish Airborne's efficacy.

Who needs scientists!!! Airborne was developed by, "a school teacher who was sick of getting sick in the classroom."

Victoria Knight-McDowell, an elementary school teacher from Carmel, CA developed the product to "ward off" the germs spread by her 2nd grade students. The marketing geniuses (or perhaps the cartoonists who devised the packaging) chose to disclose this fact prominently on all Airborne advertising.

I don't know what's scarier. The product's slogan: "
Created by a school teacher!", or the fact that Airborne is ranked THE #1 COLD REMEDY AT DRUGSTORE.COM!

Forget drug companies--I'm putting my health in the hands of a 2nd grade school teacher.

There is no conclusive evidence that this product or any of its ingredients prevents colds or shortens their duration. The adult tablet contains 1 g of vitamin C, and the directions for use advise taking 1 tablet at the first sign of a cold and repeating the dose every 3 hours as necessary. Vitamin C in doses higher than 1 g increases oxalate and urate excretion and may cause kidney stones (EN Taylor et al, J Am Soc Nephrol 2004; 15:3225). The safety of this placebo extraction combination has not been established.


Anonymous Marissa Beck said...

So true, and eloquently put. The real problem is the utter idiocy being spread "Airborne." Uninformed, biased Americans need to stop believing everything they read or hear, and start thinking logically about their health!!! Check this out: Doug, you might want to consider writing for Nutrition Action Health Letter—-you’re a natural!

11:48 PM  
Blogger Douglas Cress said...

Thanks Marissa. The article is a good read.

It is unfortunate that the food and supplement industries are so heavily influenced by money; it is no wonder people are confused. Stubborn public misconceptions and a lack of hard scientific data only add to the problem.

The population is fast losing faith in the one discipline that could potentially enlighten us, science. This was most recently illustrated by a report showing that, "Low fat diet may not reduce health risks". Contradictory information abounds leaving the public skeptical of even the most “logical” conclusions regarding personal health and well being.

Most people have little understanding of the statistics or methodology that are used to create the studies themselves. As such, they are one step removed from any real understanding of their own health. Who fills this information gap? More often that not it is whichever source stands to profit most.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Marissa Beck said...

Yes, Exactly! Pseudo-doctors, (or even real ones) are trying to promote their own health agendas, versus using hard-backed scientific data. The population is confused about the conflicting advice they hear, but—-literally—- they eat it all up anyway. Somewhere, the basic meaning of what nutrition really is (adequate fuel for the body) has been misplaced. These days, nutrition is like a fashion trend, i.e., "bulgur wheat" seems to be the cool, new, "fashionable" food of '06. And instead of providing legitimate studies upon how they came to such a conclusion, Dr Weil and his foolish friends rely upon the public's gullibility and unawareness, making tons of money!!!!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Marissa Beck said...

Oh-- and in addition, the low-fat movement seriously needs to be chucked in a chest and burned... Healthy fats are used as the material to rebuild cells and certain hormones. Fat free foods make you FATTER! Most fat free foods are filled with loads of sugar to make them taste better-- and ironically, eating excess sugar AIDS your body in storing the fat. The real message we need to be sending is: Quit eating processed crap and start eating foods that you could actually pick or grow...

11:37 AM  

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